Your world starts and ends with you
I met a friend for coffee earlier today. Let’s call him Mike. I noted that Mike was drawn and somewhat anxious in his demeanor as we sat down. He proceeded to relate how stressed he was in his business. Revenue was down and the general morale in the work environment was compromised. Probably as a result, productivity had also been negatively affected.
At this point the waitress brought our coffees. It struck me that Mike never acknowledged nor thanked the waitress. But things were to get worse. After a few sips of his coffee, Mike’s face contorted and thunder clouds gathered above him. ‘I’m not accepting this shit for coffee’, he growled! And with that he commanded the waitress back to the table and demanded that she ‘take this crap away and bring me real coffee’!
Now I’m familiar with other people in a similar line of business who are ticking over quite happily in spite of tougher economic times. And I couldn’t help but conclude that Mike with his malignant mind state must surely have compromised his own success. This is probably the way that Mike behaves at work and how he relates to his staff. And it probably gets a whole lot worse when things don’t go his way. I would guess that Mike doesn’t even know the names of his employees let alone their personal life situations. I would imagine that Mike also carries this demeanor over into the marketing of his business which is hardly an attractive lure for potential clients.
I contrasted this with one of my patients who owns a medium sized business, employing about fifty people. Let’s call him John. John takes a personal interest in all the trials and tribulations of his staff. When individuals are in financial difficulty he helps them out. Once a month he sponsors a barbecue at the work premises for all the staff. He derives great personal gratification from mentoring new employees and in fact makes a point of employing individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. And when there was a general strike recently in this particular industry, John’s workers volunteered out of their own choice to work their shifts at night. The result was that all targets were met. John’s business is thriving and has expanded into a lucrative export market.
Interestingly, John has never been coached in the work place. Merely his genuine interest in the well being of his employees has created a win-win situation. Sensitivity has translated into mutual trust with resulting success for all.
Mike on the other hand has lost his human connection. This is compromising the viability of his business and contagion will undoubtedly spread beyond, perhaps into his personal environment. Mike will need coaching just to re-engage with human decency and sensitivity. And only then, perhaps, will his business turn around.
Our respective worlds do indeed start and end with us. Did you acknowledge and thank your waitress today?
Copyright reserved - Ian Weinberg 2016